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Home Android News Should You Buy That Used Phone on eBay? 4 Things to Think...

Should You Buy That Used Phone on eBay? 4 Things to Think About

The iPhone 13 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra boast absolutely the newest and best in telephone know-how: supercharged processors, 5G connectivity and one of the best cameras. However in addition they include sky-high value tags which are merely out of attain (or pointless) for many people. Even Google’s barely extra reasonably priced Pixel 6 Pro nonetheless prices a whopping $899, which is troublesome to swallow notably at a time when many people are preserving a lot nearer eyes on our spending.

Shopping for an older, earlier technology telephone that is used can prevent some huge cash whereas permitting you to place some severely potent cell {hardware} in your pocket. These telephones will characteristic your on a regular basis necessities, plus issues like photograph modifying, gaming and video streaming. Even higher, it saves a telephone from going to landfill, which we are able to all agree is an effective factor.

However there are key issues to bear in mind if you need the best phone to your cash and also you need to keep secure if you get it. Listed here are our high recommendations on safely purchase an ideal used telephone, whether or not you need an iPhone ($500 at Best Buy) or an Android telephone.

What options are most vital in a telephone?

First, take into consideration what you really need out of your telephone, as this may dictate what kind of stage (and funds) you want. In case you simply need one thing extra fundamental to deal with informal WhatsApp messages and play Spotify throughout your commute, you do not want flagship ranges of efficiency. Because of this, a lower-end telephone with a smaller price ticket will swimsuit simply high quality.

An Android phone showing the Android N logo

Take into consideration what options you actually need in a telephone. Is having a button-free show actually value splashing the additional money on a extra fashionable handset?

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

If, nevertheless, you are actually into telephone images then chances are you’ll need to spend a bit extra on one thing with a good digicam. In that case, one thing like an iPhone X ($295 at Amazon) or a Galaxy S10
 could also be preferable. You will have to seek out that stability between the efficiency you want and the worth you are completely happy to pay. Newer phones with extra fashionable options and higher efficiency will include the next value. 

Purchase from a trusted supply

Not each telephone vendor has your greatest pursuits at coronary heart, so it is vital to be savvy if you’re buying. Some locations to keep away from needs to be apparent; do not buy from the man promoting telephones on a road nook from a giant field, for instance. Others will be hit or miss.

eBay is a widely known supply for purchasing used objects, and there is a big number of telephones available. A few of these are bought by refurbishing corporations that commerce solely in shopping for and promoting used handsets. Others are common folks attempting to dump their previous units after they improve. The result’s that it will probably generally really feel like panning for gold, in search of these nuggets you really need. Examine the subsequent part for extra recommendations on shopping for on eBay.

My greatest recommendation although is to go to trusted corporations that purchase previous telephones, refurbish them and promote them on. I’ve used MusicMagpie within the UK and had no issues. Its on-line catalogue is huge, it clearly lists the situation of the telephones, each handset is manufacturing facility reset and also you get a 12-month guarantee with each buy. Costs is likely to be a tad greater than you’d discover on eBay, however the peace of thoughts greater than makes up for it. In addition they provide rental choices if you cannot fairly abdomen splashing the money upfront. Gazelle presents an identical service within the US, though we have not examined it ourselves and so cannot vouch for the general high quality of the service.

A screenshot of the MusicMagpie product page for the Galaxy S20

MusicMagpie’s product pages make it very simple to see the situation of the precise telephone you are shopping for.

MusicMagpie/Screenshot by Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Examine the main points on the itemizing

Whether or not you are shopping for from eBay, Amazon Market or wherever else, it is vital to pay shut consideration to what you are really getting. Learn the itemizing rigorously, together with any small print that is likely to be hidden additional down amongst different particulars. It could be that phrases like “nonfunctioning” or “battery defective” are deliberately buried to trick folks into shopping for a telephone that not works. They’re going to additionally doubtless clarify whether or not you are getting the unique charging cable, packaging and what kind of nicks and scratches you possibly can count on.

Use your widespread sense right here: If a $1,000 iPhone is being bought for under $100, there’s most likely one thing fishy occurring. Do not be the man who bought a picture of an Xbox One for $735


Regardless of having the newest software program put in, this Galaxy S6’s final safety replace was utilized in 2018. That implies that there are two years of latest exploits that this telephone is inclined to.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Do not buy telephones with out current safety updates

I am going to make this as clear as attainable: Don’t purchase a telephone that not will get safety updates from its producer. Unsupported phones are open to all kinds of vulnerabilities that may give hackers quick access to each single piece of knowledge in your handset — and even management it utterly. These financial institution particulars, cute pics of your youngsters, attractive selfies you despatched to your associate — all might be accessed and stolen.

Most Android telephone producers are inclined to help their handsets for 2 to 3 years. Apple takes that additional, nevertheless, supporting even 2015’s iPhone 6S ($200 at eBay) with the newest iOS 15.4 (as of June 2022). Google’s 2018 Pixel 3 is not formally supported, nevertheless, and the Pixel 4 is barely getting “assured” safety updates till October 2022, according to Google’s support page

It is irritating that telephones aren’t supported for longer, because the {hardware} stays completely able to dealing with most on a regular basis duties you are doubtless going to want. Some (just like the Pixel 4) nonetheless pack nice cameras that will take stunning photographs in your subsequent trip. However outdated software program makes the telephones weak, and it is merely not advisable to proceed utilizing telephones outdoors their help interval.

Your greatest guess is to have a look at telephones that got here out inside the final two years and are subsequently doubtless nonetheless receiving safety updates. Once you discover a telephone that fits, search the mannequin title and attempt to discover out if it is nonetheless getting updates, and if there’s a sign of how for much longer it’s going to get them. Firms aren’t forthcoming with data about after they’re reducing a product unfastened, however by taking a look at what different fashions are being supported it is best to have the ability to make a good estimate.


The Galaxy S9, being a more moderen mannequin than the S8, will doubtless proceed getting safety updates for longer.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Galaxy S10, for instance, continues to be listed on Samsung’s support page as getting quarterly safety updates, whereas 2018’s Galaxy A9 is barely listed as receiving biannual updates. It is fairly secure to imagine that the A9 might be reduce off from the help interval sooner, so choosing a barely newer handset just like the S10 and even 2020’s Galaxy S20 will sometimes imply you may have longer with the telephone earlier than it turns into more and more unsafe to make use of. It may cost a little a bit of extra, however you may have an extended usable time with it.

Make certain when your telephone of selection arrives that you simply absolutely manufacturing facility reset it your self, and ensure to test for all obtainable software program updates earlier than doing the rest.

In case you’re eager to avoid wasting money by shopping for used, ensure to take a look at our full article on the security advice you need to be aware of. In case you’re not eager on shopping for used however nonetheless do not need to spend all of your financial savings, check out our roundup of the best phones under $200.

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